Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 8/27/99

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Week of 8/20-8/27, 1999

Monitoring

Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas are in their normal home ranges and continue to be localized but are starting to move a little more with their pups. Soda Butte pack was near the south arm of Yellowstone Lake. Crystal pack was just east of the Park.

Biologists Boyd and Meier caught and radio-collared a pup possibly from the Wigwam pack and are continuing efforts to collar members of that and other packs in NW Montana. They were and will be accompanied by a German TV film crew while trapping continues this next week in NW Montana.

Control

A possible cattle depredation by the Gros Ventre pack was reported on 8/19. Two calves were certainly fed upon by the Gros Ventre trio (wolf scat and tracks at the carcasses were properly protected by the herder) but evidence was lacking to determine whether the wolves killed the calves (carcasses were almost totally consumed), so no control is being conducted at this time. It is being closely watched including increased monitoring of those wolves.

Trapping and placing draw baits for wolves on the Diamond G Ranch began August 26. The Service is making another attempt to collar wolves in that area so that information from monitoring can be used to resolve wolf/livestock conflicts on the ranch.

Research

About 20 biologists from various agencies, the press, and members of the public attended a wolf workshop hosted by Grand Teton National Park on the 24 and 25th. The objective was to establish direction and needs for wolf research in Grand Teton and the southern greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Bangs, Jimenez, Smith, and Murphy were among the attendees giving presentations.

Information and education and law enforcement

Bangs gave luncheon talk to about 120 members of the Jackson, WY Rotory Club on the 24th.

Jimenez gave a talk to about 50 people at a evening campground talk for the Forest Service in the Ninemile Valley of Montana on the 23rd.

Fontaine gave a talk to about 50 teachers at the Montana teachers in-service training in Helena on the 18th.

A German TV crew followed various wolf biologists around this week to tape a program on wolves that will be shown this fall. They also interviewed several ranchers about their concerns.

Bangs and Niemeyer gave presentations at the Yellowstone Institute to about 20 people on the 28th. Defenders of Wildlife sponsored the annual large predator conference/retreat.

The Service's weekly wolf report can now be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at http://www.r6.fws.gov/wolf in addition to the regular distribution.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Internet-ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV